Chinese and US Defense Ministers to Meet in Singapore

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. and Chinese defense ministers are due to meet in Singapore on Friday as the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit begins, Chinese state media reported.
The talks between Wei Fenghe and Lloyd Austin will be “the first meeting between Chinese and US defense ministers since Austin took office,” state broadcaster CCTV reported.
The Shangri-La Dialogue, a forum for the world’s top military officers, diplomats and arms companies, is being held in the Southeast Asian city-state from June 10-12.
It is the first time the event has been held since 2019, after being postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
China and the US have feuded in recent years over Beijing’s claims to nearly the entire South China Sea, as well as Taiwan.
The ruling Communist Party claims democratic, self-governing Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to one day take it, by force if necessary.
More recently, the two sides have been at loggerheads over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Washington accusing Beijing of providing tacit support to Moscow.
China has called for negotiations to end the war, but has not come to condemn Russia’s actions and has repeatedly criticized US arms donations to Ukraine.

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